Online tools for enhancing learning
I’ve heard about Hot Potatoes from some colleges and I’ve been curious about it. It was great to have an opportunity to explore it this week.
The Hot Potatoes allows us to create interactive exercises that students can do on the web or from a diskette. I downloaded Hot Potatoes Version 6 and it contains six options as follows:
1) JQuiz - question-based exercises
2) JCloze - gap fill exercises
3) JMatch - matching exercises
4) JMix - jumble exercises
5) JCross - crosswords
6) The Masher - building linked units of material
*How could using these tools promote learner autonomy?
Students are mostly reluctant to do extra work (homework) at home, especially about reading and writing on a paper. They prefer more active exercises with immediate feedback like video games to reading and completing sentences in a book. The Hot Potatoes let students participate in interactive exercises, and the students might be motivated by its visual exercises. As teachers make interesting and challenging exercises, the students can learn by doing as active learners and they can review what they learned with quick feedback. By doing so, teachers also get useful feedback what students have difficulties with.
*What are the constraints that would make it difficult to use these tools?
Using Hot Potatoes, teachers can quite easily make exercises, and it allows us to include external contents such as video, audio, and images. I didn’t find out the constraints so far, but according to computer proficiency or preference of the students, some students might have difficulties with doing web-based activities.
*How will you overcome them?
If teachers provide helpful guides of each activity to the students, they would feel more comfortable and easily do the activities.
-Hot Potatoes (Version 6) - http://hotpot.uvic.ca/